Friday, 31 January 2014

#3DPM & ProjectEGG 2014 update!

Late last year, #3DPM and ProjectEGG began a partnership founded on shared ideals. Michiel van der Kley gave us our inaugural end of year interview with a mover and shaker in 3D printing. It's still there, and what he had to say still resonates even weeks after he gave the interview.

'Lord' Terry Yeung of Oxford - we salute you!
3D Printing Network received it's first stone today, as official U.K. hub for ProjectEGG. We're ready to receive more! Keep them coming!

A rainy day here but stone 2876 looks amazing!
Terry Yeung from Oxford gets a special mention from us here at 3D Printing Network for being the first. Perhaps he'd like to talk to us about starting up 3D Printing Network - Oxford? :)

Thursday, 30 January 2014

#3DPM & Ultimaker - CREATE together!

Ultimaker GB has launched a 3D printing initiative for schools in Britain. Like the 3D Printing Network, Ultimaker has very strong ideals which they live by. Like being open source, sharing and collaborating. Like us, Ultimaker has an urge to bring 3D Printing to schools.

Here is what they had to say to us when I went along to interview them at their Chorley HQ:

Ultimaker wants to get kids in touch with this new innovative technology and ignite that creative flame we all had at that age. Ultimaker has already been working with education institutions in the UK and with schools on the continent to great success and is now about to officially launch into the Education sector.

A national campaign called CREATE Education Project is being rolled out as 2014 starts, with schools eager to provide students the best current learning opportunities 3D printing has to offer.  Ultimaker’s CREATE initiative has received fantastic feedback from teachers and pupils have been blown away by how easy the Ultimaker technology is to use and the subsequent opportunities it presents!

“Marie McDonagh, Curriculum Leader at Cleethorpes Academy said “We ordered 5 Ultimaker 2 printers after an impressive workshop run by the Ultimaker team where students were able to produce their own 3D designs in under 2 hours. We have incorporated 3D printing in to both Key Stage 3 and 4 curriculums to give students experience of this exciting new technology. The Ultimaker 2 printers represent good value and the support and advice from Ultimaker has been excellent.”

The CREATE strategy comprises 6 key points:

C. Community.
Collaborative learning is the way to go! By bringing people together and sharing our understanding, breakthroughs in learning will be abundant. Ultimaker already has a thriving community, we want to extend to include you!

R. Reliability.
And support. Ultimaker has a reputation of being one of the most reliable 3D printers available.

E. Education.
We believe that 3D printing is going to impact many key areas in the future, whether it’s prototyping in manufacturing, bespoke replacement joints in medicine, scaled models in architecture or the latest trend in fashion, 3D printing is integral to learning and development and changes the game in design realization.

A. Access.
The Cura software that is open source and free to Ultimaker users, allows an abundance of design software / scanners downloaded templates to be printed accurately in 3D. It is made to be user friendly so without any prior knowledge you can dive right into 3D printing!

T. Teachability.
We all know that the best way to show a clear understanding of a concept is to teach it to someone else! Our design approach encourages individuals to experiment independently and then share their progress with others.

E. Economics.
Ultimaker is already one of the most affordable options on the market, the kit version starts at an amazing £1000! Education institutes cannot afford to be denying students the chance to change the world.

Be a part of this revolution with the CREATE Ultimaker Education Project

3D Printing Network will be bringing you Ultimaker 3D printers and 'build your own printer' workshops soon, so watch this space!

#3DPM@MadLab 27th January 2014

The 3D Printing Network is a social enterprise looking to bring 3D printing technology to as many people from as many varied backgrounds as possible - and it looks like we're winning! This week continued with a hardware discussion group based around a BCP Labs 01 3D printer.  We also had an advanced CAD design tutorial, a beginners workshop and some people who came to watch what 3D printing was all about!

Design newbie - rising to the challenge!
This week we started a new workshop for beginners. How to design your first 3D printed item. The aim of this workshop was to bring people with ambition, and a laptop with Sketchup loaded on their laptops together with a design challenge. The challenge - design their own nameplate key-ring ready to be printed and worn by the next meeting! Alan and John made a good start, and we'll see the outcome at the next meeting!

Design pro's - achingly close to begin prototyping!
The point of bringing people through the introductions to CAD design is to get them to the point where they can use 3D printing to bring their creations into reality. Our beginners workshop results in a design that is completed in a matter of hours. The advanced group is run with a professional designer advising and members working on designs that have been ongoing for weeks. This means we can't always understand what the designs are, but we can make sure it's ready for printing.  When it is printed, we can begin the process of healing the design until we reach printed nirvana!

BCP 01 3D Printers showing the hardware group how it's done!
The hardware group has access to two BCP Labs 01 3D printers. Although based upon an open-source Mendel design, these printers can print as well as anything on the market, and provide us with an excellent reference by which to teach members about hardware.  That being said, we're always open for new or different printers being introduced to the group.  This week hardware tweaks during prints were the topic of the day whilst one members design was being printed.  There is a chance we'll be hosting a printer from Ultimaker soon, so watch this space!

3D Printers - the object of affection for other social enterprises!

At 3D Printing Network we're always looking to help other social enterprises develop 3D printing themed workshops. We've delivered our last co-run event with FACT Liverpool before Christmas, and we're always open to new offers. The group nights are a good way for social entrepreneurs to come along, meet Sam, Mark, Joanna and Keith; and work out where we can work together.

The end of a fun night!
So the end of another group night! We'll be running workshops every meeting! We're also going to be developing 'build a printer' workshops! We've meetings coming up at MadLab and FabLab, as well as a 3D printer market and advice office opening at JWRetailing at Farnworth. It's all coming soon, so watch this space!

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Mark is also a StartUp Brew ‘Startupian’

Although I turned up late cursing public transport and the state of the roads, it was great to arrive with enough time to be part of the StartUp Brew meetup organised by TechHub’s Shaun Gibson.

My intention was to talk with ‘TechHub Phil’ and ‘Gigabyte Gavin’ about 3D scanning and filament manufacturing; I didn't. However, I was fortunate to meet other fellow startupians and engage with them in the pursuit of business enlightenment; and for myself promote the noble art of #3DPrinting.

This day’s interaction was very fruitful and I introduced myself as ‘Mark the #3DPrinter’ it usually gets a response; for ‘Designer Ian’ it was a case of initial befuddlement; when he realised I wasn't a complete idiot, then followed an informative discussion about our projects, or maybe he was just humouring me. I didn't quite answer his last question about "how big can a 3D printer print?", because this is where ‘Mark Solicitor Smith’ came into conversation to hurriedly leave for another appointment.

 ‘Eee builder (Ewere)’ was interested in setting up an online business my talk of a concrete 3D printer didn’t quite connect with his plans, but he said he would check out the ‘#3DPrinting Network Manchester’ or #3DPM as we like to abbreviate.

Now ‘Salford Kelly’ is an interesting character she is looking for work placements and projects for university students, this line of inquiry was leading somewhere and it had a positive vibe we could follow up. ‘Crossword Anna’ interjected with news about a 3D printed skyscraper and ‘Helen the Hatter’ has web development skills that would be useful in promoting the businesses created by our ‘Pioneers of #3DPrinting’.

I was ready to go but then fortunate to meet ‘Caroline the SEO Equestrian’ and ‘Young Bearded Guy I forgot the name of’; sorry I will remember it next time. Uncle John collared me and is going to send me an email about what’s happening in the northern quarter and ‘Film Maker Prince not the Singer’ is hooking me up with a ‘Lady Printer’.

I left business cards and instructions about how they could contact #3DPM – the #3DPrinting Network Manchester; I didn’t mention my fellow cohorts: ‘Doctor Sam’, ‘Keith aka Fingers’ and ‘Joanna our Product Designa’ but I did mention

Oops nearly forgot 'Sherlock Una' but more about her later.

Until next time, this is ‘Mark the #3DPrinter’ signing off for now :-)

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Charitable Purpose Tweaked

Let us know if it is not worded correctly or if it needs improving or more clarity...

Charitable Purpose

   1. #3DPM is a Club ... to network, to crowd source, to do business, to meet, etc.

   2. #3DPM is about #LeanTraining ... to get guidance and information, as quickly as possible.

   3. #3DPM is about Facilities ... for entertainment, for product fabrication, for business, etc.

Our aim is to encourage and assist any motivated #3DPrinting pioneer, young and old, to create and grow their own profitable enterprise and make the process a sociable, supportive and meaningful activity; the three main components that are the foundation for this initiative are: The Club, #LeanTraining and Facilities.

Our strategy is to rethink the meaning of what business really is and for; and show that it is important to define it as process everybody does, to survive and thrive. We also demonstrate that by organising communities around specific ideas, businesses can be manufactured as if on a production line. The rules are already well understood; but this knowledge isn’t evenly distributed, and we aim to change this. #3DPM is focusing on 3D printing; its growth potential is phenomenal so competition will not be an inhibitor for long while, making collaborations easier.

A general outline of #3DPM, is a community of self help enthusiasts, who are interested in developing and promoting 3D printing for their own edification or commercial interests in their own geographic locations. It is a freemium based charitable organisation, where members can grow their knowledge and activities; and are expected to contribute to the community's growth and well being in any way they can; money if possible (and it is needed), but time, knowledge and resources, if appropriate, are also important and acceptable.

We are expanding the #3DPrinting Network !
So please contact us if you would like to know more.

#3DPM charitable purpose...

1. #3DPM is self help community focusing on 3D printing and its peripheral activities; it is open to anyone who is prepared to accept its operating principles, in the spirit by which they are intended to be applied.

2. #3DPM helps its members develop their individual and group skills, towards building profitable 3D printing or related businesses; or for personal or group development; or for recreational needs.

3. #3DPM aims, via its membership, to provide continually improving facilities, processes and resources, for its members.

4. #3DPM encourages learning and provides learning materials to help its members fulfill their 3D ambitions; it spreads awareness of 3D printing capabilities and requirements.

5. #3DPM is a hub to attract and distribute 3D printing related expertise and resources; and link diverse groups of private enthusiasts, businesses, academia, governing bodies, entrepreneurial activities and funding sources.

6. #3DPM aims to use crowd sourcing and research, to develop 3D printing and its applications; as open source technology for the benefit of #3DPM and wider community.

7. #3DPM particularly is to help schools and young people develop new businesses around 3D printing and encourage the mature and experience members of society to get involved to help.

8. #3DPM is to promote its charitable aims; maintain a primary blog ; grow its membership; and encourage its members to find purpose and satisfaction in the pursuit of knowledge, art and science, of making things and helping others.

Thursday, 23 January 2014

#3DPM also at Fab Lab

Our first group meeting at 'Fab Lab'
will be on Thursday 20th of February 6pm to 9pm
refer to Meetings & Events

With 'Fab Lab' on board we have access to some great resources.
If you have a business idea that requires some manufacturing then come along,
this is a great place!  

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

#3DPM@MadLab on 13th January 2014

So here we are, 2014 and less than a year old, and #3DPM is going from strength to strength! This year we'll have interviews with 3D food printers, meetings at FabLab, MadLab and the development of an all new Entrepreneurship programme in collaboration with JWRetailers and BCP Labs.  We're developing new courses and workshops for #3DPM members and the public, developing new businesses through our expanding members and their interests. Even more exciting, #3DPM is developing 3D printing public interest outside the north west of the U.K. with London and the south-west in our sights! WATCH THIS SPACE!!!

New members working on their ideas..BCP-01 at the ready to realise their expression!

We had our first meeting of the year at MadLab on the 13th of January, and I readily admit to wondering whether the events of 2013 were real, and whether anyone remembered us in 2014. I'm glad to report that we had lots of newbies, especially from the South Manchester Radio and Computing Club but also from FabLab.  This reflected just what our Network nights are all about, people from different backgrounds reaching common ground through 3D printing.

Sketchup 'Baby-Steps' workshop and 3D printer technology discussion forum

This year we're planning on offering more structured introduction workshops, and tutorials and projects to learn aspects of 3D printing.  This session we started new members off on setting their laptops up right for Sketchup and NettFab. The 3D printing technology group got an introduction in how designs were translated into G-code and printed out.

3D printing with a BCP-01 from our first spin-out BCP Labs

Three hours went very quickly indeed, and helped Mark, Keith, Joanna and I exactly what people wanted from #3DPM this year - more things to do! Your wishes are granted..we've got more meetings, so eventually there will be one every week. We'll let you all know as we do!

Some more interesting links...